Showsight Presents The Poodle

10 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE JUDGING THE POODLE

by SCOTT WOLFE Illustrations courtesy of the Official AKC Standard for the Poodle

T he question of how to approach judging Poodles is one to which I have dedicat- ed much thought. Although judging is at its core the evaluation of breeding stock, the dog show in its modern incarnation often obscures this basic intent. With so much attention paid to “the glamour” at shows many times the flashy or dramatic exhibits steal the show to the detriment of this basic tenet of judging. Although they may appear to be the same, constraints of time and procedure separate the judging experience from evaluation in the role as a breeder. The standard for the breed is your touchstone, however, a simple reading is not enough, rather, it should serve as the framework and a starting point for study and conversation in order to reach understanding of how to apply it to the actual dog. What I would like to introduce here is nothing new or origi- nal; simplify things to make them mem- orable and accessible, keep the breed history and function at the heart of your decision making process and, finally, always remember to ask the question: if I were breeding this breed which one would I take home? Keep it simple; distill everything down to its most basic. Dog people are by and large visual people; this common- ality is like part of our genetic code and why we find a beautiful dog appealing in the first place. Focus on breed related basic shapes; the outline or silhouette is a shape defined by the arrangement of anatomical components. Get the shape right and the pieces and parts are usu- ally arranged properly. Details are also shapes, the eye, the foot, the profile of the head, even the negative space from underline to the ground between the front and rear legs is a shape relat- ing information pertinent to evaluating a breed. Be familiar with and apply basic ideas; the Poodle temperament, atti- tude and presence governs so much of

(Reprinted with permission from Poodle Variety 2011)

“THE STANDARD FOR THE BREED IS YOUR TOUCHSTONE, HOWEVER, A SIMPLE READING IS NOT ENOUGH...”

256 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , S EPTEMBER 2017

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